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01-06-2012, 01:24 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fontan Quote
Well, I think that this is where medium format is going too. As mobile as this camera is, despite its bulky looks, what I think this camera lacks is spontaneity. If lighter and thinner and smaller, I think it will add another element to it.

Yes sensor technology needs to go a bit further, but more than the blue print is already there. It isn't like CMOS sensors are still duds. Wouldn't it be interesting if the mount was 67?
The 645D can made significantly smaller than todays model. About a third of its thickness can be shaved away. The depth is due to the film transport no longer needed. It can be made at the size of a Canon FF camera and the lens diametre is hardly larger.

A mirrorless 645 will go nowhere. In late 1970's Seiko (and others) watch catalogue had only one non-digital watch in the line-up. Take a look today. Same story; no moving parts; easier and cheaper to make etc. However, some thing is best read the old way and you can't beat reality. Augmented by electronic screens when useful.

01-06-2012, 04:47 PM   #17
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I have done street photography with the 645D and it has the spontaneity; it is fast to work with.
01-07-2012, 11:17 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Yamanobori Quote
I have done street photography with the 645D and it has the spontaneity; it is fast to work with.
I am not saying that you cannot do it. In fact I do it all the time, even today in the streets of San Francisco, and it is quite doable. But it is a pain in the ass, and it is quite intrusive. The camera is so big (and awesome looking) that it gets in the way of things. People will notice you. I dont think you want that. Leica is clearly more suited for that. There is no reason not to make it smaller if it can be done, especially at a lower cost. 645d is simply not a joy to carry around all day, period. It is not made for something like street photography in my opinion. So, theses days, when I am aimlessly walking around, I tend to go with my M8.

Having said all that, and as big as that thing is, there is no way that I will not leave the set up at home when I go to Egypt in April.
01-07-2012, 11:21 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
The 645D can made significantly smaller than todays model. About a third of its thickness can be shaved away. The depth is due to the film transport no longer needed. It can be made at the size of a Canon FF camera and the lens diametre is hardly larger.

A mirrorless 645 will go nowhere. In late 1970's Seiko (and others) watch catalogue had only one non-digital watch in the line-up. Take a look today. Same story; no moving parts; easier and cheaper to make etc. However, some thing is best read the old way and you can't beat reality. Augmented by electronic screens when useful.
Hm . . . . I think there is a place for it. Even disregarding the prospect of being smaller, it still make sense to get rid of that mirror.

I am curious though why a rangefinder kind of set up is not possible?

01-08-2012, 05:35 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fontan Quote
Hm . . . . I think there is a place for it. Even disregarding the prospect of being smaller, it still make sense to get rid of that mirror.

I am curious though why a rangefinder kind of set up is not possible?
By far the most popular type of camera for serious photography is the SLR.
Pentax is an anti-rangefinder company. Ask Leica to make a rangefinder....
01-08-2012, 06:04 AM   #21
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Well it can be made smaller, keeping the mirror.



The prints and space between the sensor and screen can be placed different and thus making the body thinner.

So I guess that it wouldn't need to be different then for instance for a FF Canon (flange distance 44mm) that has a body dept of 82,7mm. That would shrink the 645D (flange distance of 70,87mm) from 119mm to 109mm. But when I look at the image, there maybe cut of some more (up to almost an inch). Don't know if the measurements Compare camera dimensions side by side are correct.

I still don't see a market big enough to start a new system.
01-08-2012, 09:26 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fontan Quote
I am not saying that you cannot do it. In fact I do it all the time, even today in the streets of San Francisco, and it is quite doable. But it is a pain in the ass, and it is quite intrusive. The camera is so big (and awesome looking) that it gets in the way of things. People will notice you. I dont think you want that. Leica is clearly more suited for that. There is no reason not to make it smaller if it can be done, especially at a lower cost. 645d is simply not a joy to carry around all day, period. It is not made for something like street photography in my opinion. So, theses days, when I am aimlessly walking around, I tend to go with my M8.

Having said all that, and as big as that thing is, there is no way that I will not leave the set up at home when I go to Egypt in April.
I have not found one camera more intrusive than another. It is a bit of a myth in Street Photography. People notice you just as much with a rangefinder. I think it comes from the shyness of the photographer rather than any reality. I have done lots of Street Photography with 6x6 and 6x12 medium-format cameras. Mary Ellen Mark uses a Mamiya 7. Those and the 645D are easy to carry around all day.

These folks don't seem to notice me--taken with the A 35mm. I was just walking by and this was the only frame I took. And I am 6' tall.
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01-08-2012, 12:41 PM - 1 Like   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Yamanobori Quote
I have not found one camera more intrusive than another. It is a bit of a myth in Street Photography. People notice you just as much with a rangefinder. I think it comes from the shyness of the photographer rather than any reality. I have done lots of Street Photography with 6x6 and 6x12 medium-format cameras. Mary Ellen Mark uses a Mamiya 7. Those and the 645D are easy to carry around all day.

These folks don't seem to notice me--taken with the A 35mm. I was just walking by and this was the only frame I took. And I am 6' tall.

Again, I am not trying to dispute your point. As I said, it is doable, but cumbersome at best for me at least. I don't know how extensively you have shot with Leica, and I've only had it for few months, but to me Leica is clearly more suited for street photography. I am sorry, but if you happen to present Cartier-Bresson with both 645D and Leica M9, I am sure he will take M9.

I am very familiar with Mary Ellen Mark's work. In fact, she is really not the first one who has taken MF camera out on the street; there were several famous Japanese photographers who made their names by doing that during late 60's and 70's. These guys carved out their niche by somewhat unorthodox uses of MF compared to how it is conventionally used.

I happened to grow up in Japan, and I know this area quite well. We call this area "Ameyoko," and this I think is closer to Ueno station, not Okachimachi. Anyway, here, the street vendors have eye catching merchandizes spread out for you to see. They are there to shop, looking for good deals, and not perhaps so caught with photographers taking pictures of the street (as there are always plenty of "westerners" taking photos in this area). Also, more of a cultural thing in that most Japanese will avoid eye contact with the camera in situations like this. It is their way of minding their business, more or less.

On the other hand, yesterday I was walking around with my 645d in the streets of San Francisco, and no less than 10 people came up to me and asked what the hell I was carrying around although most people wanted to know what Pentax was, not so much that my camera was so stinking big.

While I agree with you that it is doable, and for people like you it is apparently quite easy. But I am not sure if that is the predominant opinions of 645D users. I typically use this camera when I know what I want to shoot and in what ways before I get there. I really don't like to aimlessly walk around indefinitely with this camera, along with slew of lenses. With my M8, even with 2 additional lenses, I almost forget that I am carrying them. That will not happen (with me) with 645D and few other lenses. But it is a personal thing - one of my friends in Boston takes out a huge large format out on the street on daily basis, and he says people hardly notice (yeah, right). So, if it doesn't bother you to carry this around all day, then I say more power to you. I just don't like doing that.

Having said that, if 645D was made lighter and smaller, I would think that more of the users will feel like you do in that yes it is doable and ok to carry around, waiting for that moment to unfold before you. All I am saying is that there are incentives for many MF shooter to go small. For that matter, I think Pentax feels that small is always better than big. Throughout their historical line up, they have always been very conscious of the sizes of their products. I just asked my dad, who is 81 years old, why he went with Pentax instead of other brands. He said one word; small.

Anyway, here are a couple of what I got yesterday . . . .

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01-08-2012, 12:55 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Yamanobori Quote
I have not found one camera more intrusive than another. It is a bit of a myth in Street Photography. People notice you just as much with a rangefinder. I think it comes from the shyness of the photographer rather than any reality. I have done lots of Street Photography with 6x6 and 6x12 medium-format cameras. Mary Ellen Mark uses a Mamiya 7. Those and the 645D are easy to carry around all day.

These folks don't seem to notice me--taken with the A 35mm. I was just walking by and this was the only frame I took. And I am 6' tall.
Oh, one more thing. To illustrate my point, in your cool picture, look at the vender on the right who seems to be showing you (or perhaps someone next to you or behind you or in front of you) bags of rice crackers, but he is looking the other way. Although stereotyping is never cool, this is rather a typical reaction to being photographed. I think that being photographed is much more invasive than we realize . . . .

Then look at my second picture. There is a dude looking at me with not so happy expression . . . .
01-08-2012, 01:07 PM   #25
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If I understand it correctly, you are talking about photography where you see what a sensor see's and the current problem with that is sensors don't see what, I see.. I see more. I feel like i did when digital cameras came out. I bought one, $800 for an 800 by 480 image. It was good for saving me the effort of scanning my prints when doing photo journalism type shots, but it wasn't good photography. It took until sensors surpassed film in terms of resolution.. to get me to buy a DSLR. Once I can see more with a sensor than I can see with my eye, I can see ditching the optical viewfinder.

I'm all for moving forward, as long as moving forward means technical improvement. Declaring something better when it in fact it is in some ways technically inferior, while using arguments proclaiming future dominance is very annoying. Anyone can claim their way is the way of the future... it doesn't make it true.

Tell me about this when a mirrorless system is technically better than a viewfinder, in terms of dynamic range. That day may come, but until then, it's of little interest, at least to me.
01-08-2012, 01:18 PM   #26
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Fontan, I lived in Japan for 16 years, ten of them in Toyko. I have found the Japanese don't mind staring, although they stare politely. And you are right that Ameyoko is next to Ueno station. This was the first time I had the 645D in the street--I live in rural Maine and for the most part the cows don't stare either. I was walking from Ueno to Akasaka with a nephew and thought I would try my camera out for this type of work. I did a lot of photography in Japan with most a Mamiya 6, Horseman SW612, and a Widelux F8 and so I am used to having big or odd cameras with me--I did try a 4x5 on the street, but it was always too slow for me. I was pleasantly surprised by how smoothly the 645D worked--I have never been a fan of SLRs.

I don't think the average 645D buyer is looking for a street camera. But I am a big proponent of using larger formats than 35mm for documentary work--there is a long history of larger formats in documentary work ever since photography began. Certainly it does not work for everyone--camera choice is really personal. I have found the 645D a very quick camera to use and I hope it will simply not be regulated to landscape work. I would really like MFD to spread in this field, especially with cameras like the 645D and Leica S2, which are really easy to shoot with. But it would be nicer if a mirrorless could be smaller. That would certainly grab my attention.

One more from Ameyoko showing the sign.
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01-08-2012, 01:27 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fontan Quote
Oh, one more thing. To illustrate my point, in your cool picture, look at the vender on the right who seems to be showing you (or perhaps someone next to you or behind you or in front of you) bags of rice crackers, but he is looking the other way. Although stereotyping is never cool, this is rather a typical reaction to being photographed. I think that being photographed is much more invasive than we realize . . . .

Then look at my second picture. There is a dude looking at me with not so happy expression . . . .
Actually, he was not looking away from me. He was just looking around--I had been watching him as I approached. He was simply holding the bags and many vendors along the street hold out stuff. The couple had just walked up and were not engaging the vendor at that point. There was no one behind me.

But using a Leica would change nothing. The act of photography is always invasive, this is why your camera choice does not really matter. The second picture shows someone looking at me, but so what--I am not invisible (he is probably a gear head). The idea that somehow documentary.street photography is taking an image of a world untouched by the observer (photographer) is simply a myth. Photographers have to realize they are impacting the world around them and altering it, not only with their presence, but also with the their timing and composition. All we can do is try to be honest with our work.

And that is in your picture. The guy reacting to you is a valid element; a valid point of view. And I don't think having a Leica would have changed that.

Last edited by Yamanobori; 01-08-2012 at 01:44 PM.
01-08-2012, 02:55 PM   #28
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Back on topic of the smaller camera. A different design, where there is no screen on the backside, and not to many, if any, buttons could make the camera also smaller. This way the camera depth only has to be just a bit longer then the combined lenght off the flange distance and sensor dept. Going from 119mm to 79mm or so. In this way the camera gets smaller and still uses the same lenses. and keeps te mirror.

Other thing possible is to loose the mirror, but keep the current flang distance. So all old lenses can be used. New lenses could be designed in a way that they go with their backlenselement into the mount (for an inch or so). So these new lenses are not to be used on older 645D, 645N camera's.

So where are the buttons and screen going?
Well look at the design for the Sony DSC-R1

Room enough on that camera. Just a different way of design.

When a new 645 D-FA 80-160mm would be designed, that would make this combo with the lens that goes into the camera that has it's screen on top about 2,5 inch shorter then current FA 80-160mm on 645D. Is that important?
01-08-2012, 04:38 PM   #29
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There isn't much I wouldn't trade for getting the camera smaller, but buttons are not one of them. Having dedicated buttons that control important settings is really important in my opinion.
01-09-2012, 12:08 AM   #30
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No mirror slap with OVF or EVF or whatever, and with much smaller body one may get away with slower shutter speed when handheld, especially with SR, or something like that is what I was thinking, more or less. All this without compromise in IQ, and cheaper perhaps.

I just don't want the camera to get between me and the scene. Almost always it is the camera that gets in the way of things. Ultimately, if I can take a picture without a camera, that would be the way to go. Smaller the better.
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